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  • Temperament: Loyal, Intelligent, Vigilant
  • Height: 13 inches and under (Toy), 13-15 inches (Miniature), 15-17 1/2 inches (Standard)
  • Weight: 6-12 lbs (Toy), 10-18 lbs (Miniature), 16-25 lbs (Standard)
  • Life Expectancy: 13-16 years
  • Group: Foundation Stock Service

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Breed Standard
Alaskan Klee Kai standing in the snow attached to a harness.
Alaskan Klee Kai head portrait outdoors.
Alaskan Klee Kai sitting on a forest trail.
©Andrey - stock.adobe.com
Alaskan Klee Kai running and playing in a field.
mauinow1/Getty Images Plus
Alaskan Klee Kai sitting in a wood chair outdoors.
Alaskan Klee Kai head portrait outdoors.
Alaskan Klee Kai walking in the grass.
Kelsie Taylor/Shutterstock
Alaskan Klee Kai laying down in the snow wearing a harness.
Alaskan Klee Kai leaping over an agility jump outdoors.
©Mark Herreid - stock.adobe.com
Alaskan Klee Kai sitting together outdoors.

About the Alaskan Klee Kai

The Alaskan Klee Kai has a symmetrical contrasting facial mask and body markings. This small northern-type companion breed is alert, energetic and curious. Naturally reserved with strangers, AKK require early socialization and training.

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country. Founded in 2002, the Alaskan Klee Kai Club of America was formed to preserve, protect, and promote the breed in the US.
Alaskan Klee Kai puppy sitting in the grass.
©Kablonk Micro - stock.adobe.com

Find a Puppy: Alaskan Klee Kai

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.

Care

NUTRITION

The Alaskan Klee Kai should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. The diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to excessive weight gain, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

The Alaskan Klee Kai (AKK) is a double coated breed, with a short dense undercoat and a longer outer coat of guard hairs. This coat not only helps insulate them from the cold and heat, it also helps protect the skin from the sun. While the undercoat is shed (or blown) twice a year, some owners quip that it lasts for six months at a time. Weekly brushings and/or combing help keep the coat and skin in good condition, and help reduce the hair around the house.  AKK often need only a few baths a year as their coats tend to naturally repel dirt, and they do not have the “dog odor” that many breeds have. Blowing the dog with a strong cool blow-dryer is also a good way to remove loose hair and dirt. Avoid using any tools with blades. The nails should be trimmed regularly to prevent any foot problems.

Alaskan Klee Kai competing in conformation require a bit more selective grooming or bathing for the best presentation. The breed standard is specific: “The Alaskan Klee Kai is shown in its natural state and the only trimming permissible is around the foot area to present a clean/neat appearance. Any trimming of the whiskers, or the fur on any other part of the dog, is to be severely penalized.”

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Weekly Brushing

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Seasonal

EXERCISE

The Alaskan Klee Kai (AKK) is an active dog with a medium-high energy level. Regular exercise and doing activities together, both physically and mentally, strengthens the bond between dog and owner, and helps to avoid potential destructive behavior. AKK enjoy doing performance sports or exploring life with their people in many activities such as camping, hiking, climbing, swimming, boating, kayaking, and even on paddle boards! For those who live in a more urban setting, or have a more sedate lifestyle, daily walks or a game of fetch can also provide great exercise. Alaskan Klee Kai are foremost loving companion dogs who form strong bonds with
their family and are as happy playfully interacting with their owners exploring the outdoors as they are relaxing lovingly on the laps of their youthful or elderly owners. Like many dog breeds, Alaskan Klee Kai are curious, clever, fast and sneaky, and may have a high prey drive, so it is important to keep the dog on a leash or in a securely fenced yard (or secured area) at all times when outside of the home. AKK are not suitable for people who cannot spend time with their dogs

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Energetic

TRAINING

The Alaskan Klee Kai are a perceptive breed that enjoys being physically and mentally challenged. They love learning new things, and have an energetic eagerness to participate in a broad array of activities which make them well suited for multiple performance sports such as Agility, Racing, Obedience, Rally, Scent Work, Weight Pull, Dock Diving, and Carting. They are also used in therapy work, service work, diabetic and gluten detection, as well as emotional support dogs. AKK have a sensitive, reserved and cautious nature. A gentle hand, positive reinforcement, proper early socialization and training throughout their lives is very beneficial.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Agreeable

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Reserved with Strangers

HEALTH

The Alaskan Klee Kai (AKK) is a generally healthy breed. Responsible breeders screen breeding stock for health conditions including patellar luxation, autoimmune thyroiditis, heart murmur, eye disorders, and Factor VII deficiency. Prospective AKK owners are encouraged to purchase from responsible/reputable breeders who are doing these evaluations, and confirm the health screening of the sire and dam. Responsible breeders use the many tools available, along with the knowledge of their dogs’ pedigrees, to selectively choose breeding dogs in order to reduce the likelihood of temperament, structure and health concerns.  Weights are approximate, in proportion to the overall dog, and will vary according to bone structure.

Recommended Health Tests:
• Thyroid Evaluation
• Patella Evaluation
• Ophthalmologist Evaluation
• Cardiac Evaluation
• Factor VII Deficiency DNA test

Alaskan Klee Kai playing in the snow.
Alaskan Klee Kai standing in the yard in winter.
Alaskan Klee Kai standing in profile outdoors.
Alaskan Klee Kai head portrait outdoors.

History

The Alaskan Klee Kai have ancient roots descending from the numerous native dogs which have populated Alaska for thousands of years. Many of these dogs became not only loving family pets, but in the harsh environment of Alaska, were crucial for survival for the tribal groups and nomadic people. They excelled at pulling sleds, hiking, hunting, tracking, and were early warning alerts for dangers such as wild animals or enemies approaching. One of the largest groups of native dogs that make up the base of what became known as the Alaskan Husky type of dog are the Alaskan Interior Village dogs. Husky lines from Siberia, which were imported to Alaska in the early 1900s, were added to much of this hearty dog population as dog sled racing started to grow. They developed an intelligent, vigorous, and hardworking dog, with a happy nature.

The Alaskan Klee Kai breed we see today was developed in Alaska from these well-bred husky dogs by Linda Spurlin and her family starting in the early 1970s. Using a strict breeding program to select the somewhat smaller dogs with the type/look she envisioned that also met her high standards for health, structure and temperament, she carefully developed a companion-sized version of the Alaska Husky with a very distinctive contrasting symmetrical facial mask and markings. Much like their ancestors, the Alaskan Klee Kai is adaptable to multiple lifestyles, traveling, hiking, sports, entertainment, therapy and service, and most importantly, a loving companion dog for all ages.

Did You Know?

The Alaskan Klee Kai was accepted into Foundation Stock Service in October 2020.
The name Alaskan “Klee Kai” was created from parts of Alaskan Athabaskan words meaning “little dog”.
Alaskan Klee Kai “talk,” resulting in sometimes strange and amusing noises of howling, grumbling, yodeling, purring and chirping to express themselves.
Alaskan Klee Kai are independent-thinking problem solvers with a penchant for escape by digging, climbing, squeezing through small openings, or opening gates and crates.
Alaskan Klee Kai have distinctive contrasting symmetrical facial masks and body markings in three color varieties: black with white, gray with white, and red with white.

The Breed Standard

Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Black & White Check Mark For Standard Color 019
Gray & White Check Mark For Standard Color 105
Red & White Check Mark For Standard Color 146